AHRQ Stats: Most Expensive Hospital Conditions
The five most expensive conditions for hospital treatment in 2013 were septicemia; osteoarthritis; care for newborn infants; complication of device, implant or graft; and acute myocardial infarction. These conditions accounted for about 20 percent of total hospital costs. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #204: National Inpatient Hospital Costs: The Most Expensive Conditions by Payer, 2013.)
Celeste M. Torio, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Brian J. Moore, Ph.D.
Health care expenditures have maintained a relatively stable share of the Gross Domestic Product since 2009, reaching 17.5 percent in 2014.1 Hospital care expenditures in particular, which constitute the largest single component of health care spending, grew 4.1 percent in 2014.2 Although this is up from 3.5 percent in 2013, annual hospital care expenditure growth averaged 5.5 percent from 2008 through 2012.3 Policymakers are among those concerned with the burden of medical care expenses to governments, consumers, and insurers. Although only 7.2 percent of the U.S. population had a hospital inpatient stay in 2012, the mean expense per stay associated with those hospitalizations was over $18,000, making hospitalization one of the most expensive types of health care treatment.4,5
This Statistical Brief presents data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) on costs of hospital inpatient stays in the United States in 2013. It describes the distribution of costs by expected primary payer and illustrates the conditions accounting for the largest percentage of each payer's hospital costs. The primary payers examined are Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and uninsured. The hospital costs represent the hospital's costs to produce the services—not the amount paid for services by payers—and they do not include the physician fees associated with the hospitalization.
Aggregate hospital inpatient costs and stays by payer, 2013
Figure 1 presents the distribution by expected primary payer for aggregate hospital costs and total hospital inpatient stays in 2013.
Figure 1. Aggregate hospital costs and hospital stays by payer, 2013
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), National Inpatient Sample (NIS), 2013
Table 1 presents the most expensive conditions treated in U.S. hospitals among all payers in 2013.